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Prime Minister's Office>Cabinet Decisions taken on 15 January 1999

Cabinet Decisions taken on 15 January 1999

1. Cabinet has agreed to set up and operate a special counter at the SSR International Airport with a view to facilitating the entry into Mauritius for investors/ professionals/cadres coming for businesses in the Offshore Sector. Eventually such special facility will be extended to other foreign investors in Mauritius.
2. The Mauritius Ports Authority is embarking on a programme to construct a modern Passenger Terminal Building with facilities, the infrastructure works at Mer Rouge, a Customs Complex and the procurement of tugs. In this respect Cabinet has agreed to the MPA launching debentures to the tune of Rs 600 million to finance these projects.
3. Cabinet has examined the situation regarding the breakdown of electricity supply over the island on 14 January 1999. An enquiry is being carried out to determine the exact causes of the breakdown. As a remedial measure, technical assistance will be sought to reinforce system management control as well as the transmission network monitoring.
4. Cabinet has been informed of the entry into operation at the new Container Terminal of one of the three gantry cranes recently installed by the Mauritius Port Authority. Disembarkation of containers started on a first ship as from 730 hours this morning. The operation has proved to be cost effective and successful.
5. Cabinet has agreed to the grant of a Development Certificate to Belle Vue Trochetia Hotel (Mtius)Ltd. The project consists of 249 rooms which includes 188 suites, several swimming pools, restaurants and a beauty shop. The total cost of the project is estimated at Rs 1.6 billion and will be wholly financed from overseas representing a significant amount of Foreign Direct Investment. Some 550 new jobs will be created.
6. Cabinet took note that the CEB is investing in a fifth engine to be installed at Fort George. A saving of over Rs 13 Million had been secured as a result of negotiations held between CEB and Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd. in respect of this project. Moreover, Hyundai Heavy Industries Ltd has agreed to provide CEB with additional spare parts equivalent to 48,491 USD free of charge.
7. Cabinet has agreed to Mauritius entering into a South South Cooperation within the framework of the Special Programme of Food Security of the FAO, the objective of which is to assist Low Income Deficit Countries in their efforts to combat hunger and undernourishment. Under this Programme Mauritius will assist Mozambique by providing the services of about 100 technicians in the agricultural sector. University Graduates will be recruited in Mauritius for training before being sent to work on the Programme.
8. Cabinet has agreed to review the terms and conditions for the lease of State land and sale of 77 housing units to the La Pipe Community who are being relocated at ‘16eme Mile’ in the context of the Midlands Dam Project. The amount to be claimed will be reduced from Rs 600 to Rs 375 per month.
9. Cabinet has agreed to the setting up of fourteen "Centre de Lecture et d’Animation Culturelle" (CLAC) in Mauritius and two in Rodrigues. The Centres which will be provided with books and other reading materials will help people in rural areas to develope a reading habit as well as promote knowledge, information, education and culture.
10. In line with the Budget Speech 1998-99 wherein mention was made regarding the promotion of a new professional Management culture within the public service, Cabinet has agreed, as a first measure, to the posting of Five Financial and Management Analysts from the Management Audit Bureau to the following Ministries:
(i) Ministry of Public Utilities;
(ii) Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources;
(iii) Ministry of Education & Scientific Research;
(iv) Ministry of Public Infrastructure & Public Safety; and
(v) Ministry of Health and Quality of Life.
The objective of the exercise is to enhance the appraisal, monitoring and implementation of projects and assist in the introduction of modern management tools and techniques.
11. Cabinet has approved the construction of the new cargo/passenger ship for the Mauritius Shipping Corporation in China. This project is the result of the Prime Minister’s visit in China in 1997 whereby a line of credit amounting to Rs 180 million was made available to Mauritius for the construction of a cargo/passenger ship. An additional credit of Rs 100 million has been approved by the Chinese Government for the construction of the vessel. In addition to the above, Government has agreed to meet the difference in the cost of the vessel i.e. Rs 86m. The new ship will have a designed draft deadweight of 3500 tonnes. It will be able to carry 112 passengers in cabin class accommodation and about 165 TEU containers. The vessel will be delivered in September 2000 and will operate between Rodrigues and Mauritius as well as other countries of the region.
12. Government has agreed to ratify the Tourism Protocol in the SADC region. The objectives of the Protocol inter alia are to facilitate intra-regional travel for the development of tourism through the easing or removal of travel and visa restrictions and harmonisation of immigration procedures. It will also help to improve the standards of safety and security for tourists in the territories of SADC Member States. In addition, it will create a favourable investment climate for tourism within the region for both the public and private sectors and improve tourism service and infrastructure in order to foster a vibrant tourism industry. The most significant aspect of the Protocol is the abolition of visa requirements for SADC residents. The Tourism Protocol will come into effect 30 days after the deposit of the instruments of ratification by two thirds of Member States. Mauritius will be the first country to ratify the Tourism Protocol.
13. Cabinet has taken note of :
(i) the holding in Mauritius in February 1999 of the 3rd Meeting of the Committee of Insurance, Securities and Non-Banking Financial Authorities (CISNA);
(ii) the proposal to grant a Pioneer Financial Services Development Certificate under the Development Incentives (Pioneer Financial Services Scheme) Regulations 1998 to Prudential - SBM Mauritius Asset Managers Limited for the provision of investment management and advisory services; the company is a joint venture between SBM Realty Limited, SICOM Limited and a South African partner, Prudential Portfolio Managers (Pty) Limited.
(iii) the proposal of the Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE) to host a meeting of UNESCO Experts on Education and Sustainability for SADC countries from 25 to 30 January, 1999;
(iv) the revisions made to the 1996-2000 UNICEF Country Programme for Mauritius which now include the following:
(a) Children’s rights promotion and realisation;
(b) Early childhood care and development;
(c) Adolescent protection and participation; and
(d) Cross Sectoral programme support.
(v) the outcome of the sixth Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) held from 7 to 9 December 1998 in Lusaka, Zambia;
(vi) the arrangement being made by the Ministry of Economic Development, Productivity & Regional Development for the preparation of the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP) covering the period 1999/2000 to 2004/2005;
(vii) the proposed activities to be organised on 1 February, 1999 in the context of the 164th Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery;
(viii) the outcome of the mission of the Minister of Women, Family Welfare & Child Development to India from 23 November to 4 December 1998.